Thursday, December 30, 2010

Layout Part IV - Templot and painting

Since the cricket was a debacle and since child number 4 is still coming (due 16/12 so a bit like the LNER - Late Never Early) I got stuck in and painted the track which I had completed (well most of it - the bits at the end of the loop haven't been done) and added droppers, and glued it down with PVA as seen in the pictures attached.  I have also purchased Templot - thanks to Geoff J who sent me some shots of what he had done, it tipped me over the edge and given the strength of the A$ v the Euro, Pound and US$ it was a steal! - and drew up the loop and associated points to get a better feel for how it will look - and I was able to check clearances too.
 Photo 1 shows the RH point heading to the platform, the bottom LH point having the road to the cattle dock heading from the toe (thanks to the couple of people who suggested swapping the cattle and the coal so the livestock was further from the platform!) and the arrival end of the loop.  The gap in the point work is because I printed the RH point later. 

These two photos show the layout from a birds eye view.  Mr Shop 1 tells me the missing bits were posted from the snow bound UK - which means having gotten thought Heathrow (!) they are probably flood bound somewhere in Queensland.  For those who haven't heard, an area the size of France and Germany combined is currently under water here - fortunately the only things affected for me are mail, and groceries however our own river managed to get to Minor Flood level this evening - it won't affect us in town I think.

As this is likely to be the last post for 2010 (Baby 4 is being given the hurry up tomorrow morning so I don't think the Friday Night Update will be happening!) I would like to wish all who read a Happy and Safe 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oxford Diecast Horsebox

Amongst the various bits and pieces I received for Christmas was three models from Oxford Diecast which were given to me by my parents.  One of the three was the Southern Railway liveried horsebox and as it happened a couple of days before Christmas the December/January Magazine from the 2mm Association arrived.  This contained an article by Matthew Wald in which he explained how he had modified the Oxford offerings of both the mechanical horse and horsebox in LNER livery for Copenhagen Fields.  Given that I didn't really have a need for a SR liveried horsebox (an LMS one now...) I thought it would make a good guinea pig to try out what Matthew did for myself.

The first thing to do was to take the horsebox out of its box and dis-assemble it.  Like Matthew I found the glazing didn't want to come out neatly and so it is the pile on the right hand side.  Apologies for the poor quality of the photo below but I had finished the project before I looked at the photos on the computer or I would have taken a better one.  For the benefit of readers who aren't members of the 2mm Association, the wheels need to be cut out of the chassis.  For the steering axle at the front, this I found was easiest by folding the seats forward and nicking the two bits of plastic holding the axle in.  For the 4 wheel driving axle, this was removed by slicing from below.

The main surgery is in shortening the axles.  For the fore axles I cut in half and then filed down the ends.  I also filed the chassis a bit, offering the whole up to the body until I was satisfied the wheels were now sitting in the wheel arches, and not protruding.  The aft axle I was able to take the wheels off, file the wheels down at the back, drill the hole a bit deeper and reassemble it all.  Again, offer it up to the body in the chassis until satisfied with the fit.

Once happy with the axles, reassemble it all and glue the wheels in.  The photo below shows the SR one next to an unmodified BR liveried horsebox.  It shows the changes to the wheels very clearly and demonstrates why it is worth the time.  Speaking of time, this was the work of the lunch break during Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test - and a Test which wasn't worth watching if an Australian supporter!

Matthew filed clear plastic to fit for the windows.  I used Microscale Krytal Klear.  The side windows were straight forward but after a couple of goes with the windscreen and not being happy with it, I eventually filed around the original and stuck it in place with the Krystal Klear.  Prior to doing the windows, the body was painted with Humbrol 49 - Matt Varnish.  Any similar product will do the trick and the timing in the process is arbitrary.  It certainly helps to take the "toy" out of the model.  I plan on giving mine a light weathering too.

So the finished model.  Remember that at NVD the windscreen looks a lot better.  It wasn't until I was looking at the photos that I noticed the fogginess.  Having done this, I plan on doing the BR one to match and then looking at the other Oxford offerings to see what can be done - perhaps wing mirrors?  I haven't found a good enough photo to see the position yet!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Since it is Christmas Eve, and there is a lull between chores in preparing for tomorrow (bearing in mind I have 3 daughters under 5 - and still waiting for the baby which was due on the 16th!), I thought I would take this opportunity to wish all those who have been reading about my adventures a Merry Christmas.  Thank you to all who have commented either on the blog itself or via email, answering questions and offering advice and encouragement.  I haven't done what I had planned to do this year (i.e. Elm Road) but I am very satisfied with what has been done - and looking forward to sharing my continuing adventures with both N gauge and 2mm FS in 2011.  I hope Christmas time brings joy and happiness - and something railway related in the assorted gifts and goodies.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Layout Part III - It lives (sort of)

Having almost run out of chair plates for track building and being a little bit impatient (normally by now a layout of mine would have had something running on it!) I nicked the DD's controller and hard wired it to the platform road.  The above (poor) footage is of Mavis going for a run.  Previously I had a go with the only J70 I have built together with the W&U 4 wheel tram which were built back in March (no progress since - waiting for bits and organisation!) as I figured the only 2mm loco I had should get a go.  Unfortunately the footage of that was worse than this so this will have to do.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Layout Part II - Swallow's End Track Plan

The layout now has a name - thanks to all who provided advice, suggestions and pointed out where some of the suggestions had previously been used.  Given that the previous layout built here in Longreach was named Swallow Street (after the street where we live - and based on a track plan called Collier Street, Amity's maiden name) we decided this terminus should continue the theme and so Swallow's End.

Swallow's End is a quiet little village "somewhere in England".  If it were GWR territory it would be yellow/blue code (I am not too up with the GWR colour coding but the 57xx in the Haresnape book I have are marked thus).  I guess this gives a nominal axle load of around 18T for locomotives so I will work with that.

I have also negotiated a small extension.  Instead of having cassette operation, I am going to build traverser tray which will hold the trains and be separate to the main board (bolted on for operation).  This in effect will mean the previous entry/exit line will be moved 15 inches to the end of the board.  At this stage I don't plan on changing the track plan by adding more space in the loop but I could - this will mean there is a bit more room for the points but the traverser will be fixed at a 0-6-0T, 7x 10' wagons and a 15' brake.

The signals are marked where I think they should be - as there is the possibility of a passenger train being locked in the platform while a freight comes in (or vice versa) I am assuming block control.  Obviously, should such a branch stub survive Beeching, it may well have become a one engine in steam and eventually just the platform if close enough to a major urban centre to provide suburban traffic (similar to how St Alban's Abbey is now).  With the extension, the home signals can be included rather than just the pair of starters.  The positioning of the home signals provides the limit of shunt as well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Night Update - 17 December

Just a quick update - I spent the evening making track for the still un-named layout (thanks to the 2mmVAG members who have supplied a very long list of suggestions.   Management is looking into it and also consulting here the Gazetteer of British Place Names to see what can be made of it all).  I was very pleased to have made a scale 240 feet in just a tick under 60 mins.  I guess it helped having the lengths of rail pre-cut and the chairs pre-tinned (these were done a couple of nights ago when I had made too many joint errors and decided to just do simple stuff for the last half hour!) but still, to get a length done and out of the jig in less than 15 mins was a triumph for me!  I also got the 4th buffer stop done and worked out how many full 60' lengths I still need (7) and then check to see how many sets of chair plates I still had (6 - naturally!).  Two steps forward, one back...  Shop 1 has the order (I hope) and so once the snow and ice clears and it makes its way here, progress shall continue (although I will do the last 6 lengths and start painting sleepers and what not).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

DCC conversion

I had a go at converting a loco to DCC last night.  In this case, I started small converting my model of 45 114 following the pretty straightforward explanation (with pictures - I like pictures!) found here Farish Diesel DCC Fitting.  I had to remove quite a chunk of the metal from the end with the chip and socket (I decided to put the socket in so I can put a blanking plug in to run on DC - it also meant if I did any dodgy soldering, I wouldn't be damaging a chip) and it still isn't fitting quite right so I will probably have to unsolder it all, pull the whole loco apart and remove some more metal.  The blog which I followed suggested a milling machine would be best but I found using a file just as good - if a bit time consuming.  The best part was, having put it all together it worked - and has been programmed using my NCE ProCab.   So now to the next - a Class 33.  The grand plan is to do all the blue diesels in DCC and having done this one, it should be a doddle - although I will have to work up to the 03, 04, 08 and 14 I think.
EDIT - a couple of hours later and I have removed some more of the metal under the chip and it all fits perfectly.  I had to sacrifice the cab moulding at that end, but I am thinking of detailing the buffer beam at the other end in any case so the end with the cab in it will be leading.  It isn't noticeable unless you look, but knowing it is missing, I will see it every time that end leads if I don't make it a one way loco.  Not sure what train it will get - possibly a Freightliner container set when I get around to sorting the collection I got on eBay a couple of months back.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deltic Downunder

Blogger has enabled the upload of video and I thought my most recent arrival would make a good test subject (sorry for the poor quality - I will see if I can do a better job and edit it later).  This is Deltic, still running in.  I didn't realise it came with directional lights (probably should have since this seems to be standard on all new diesels these days) and to be honest, I am a little bit disappointed.  I don't know that it will be operational with no train all that often so the red will have to go.  The white is quite bright and there will need to be something done to remove the inner glow in front of the cab.  At the slowest speed I could run it at on pure DC the lights were out.  Once it has run in for the hour each way, and I have checked the lubrication, I will stick a chip in it and see how slow it will go on DCC.

As one of those "it doesn't really fit my plans but gee whiz" locos I am very pleased with it.  I do model LMR so it is appropriate (which tends to boggle the mind a little as I always associated Deltics with the ECML) and I have seen the real beast so it was snapped up when it was announced.  And here for Christmas too.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Track once more

I spent the evening making a start on the track for the Un-named Layout.  So far I have about a metre (3 feet 3 inches for those who don't understand metric!) done which comprises most of the road into the platform.  This has been done as one continuous piece - a little bit fragile as far as moving it about goes but since it will form an electrical block, it seems like a good idea.  I have built a LMS/BR (1-070 for the 2mm SA members reading) as shown below - it has a sleeper instead of the metal cross piece which solves the electrical break issue.
The eagle eyed will notice that the bit of track from the leading wheel of the 57xx to the buffers doesn't have chair plates while the rest does.  This is because the bit which ended up getting the buffers was the first of the trial pieces of track I built following fettling of the original jig I was sent - I couldn't see any good reason not to used it (and I had to shorten it as it happens to fit) and putting the buffers on it seemed like a good solution.  After all, the loco really shouldn't be getting too much closer than this now should it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Layout Part I

I had a very busy day today.  I finally added a ply top to the aluminum frame which my parents brought up to me in June.  The ply came from school - I had my eye on the off cut bit for a while but had to wait until the end of term to "obtain" it from the scrap bin.  So it came home last week and today permission was granted to fit the bits together. 

So having drilled and riveted it all together (for those counting rivets there were 26), it received a coat of undercoat and this evening, rather than hitting the work bench, I spent a couple of hours drawing, erasing, redrawing, swearing, cleaning the whole board and starting again until I got something which feels prototypical, has operational interest and while challenging, won't put me off.

The baseboard measures a little under 2 meters long by 10 inches wide.  I know this is mixing measurements but that is what you get for a layout which is 2mm to the foot!!  I have allowed 400mm for cassettes - this holds a Class 73, 5 of the new Farish 5 plank wagons and a new Farish LMS Brakevan.  It also easily holds a 57xx and B Set.

Entry is between some trees and past the headshunt/coal merchants siding.  Straight on takes you to the yard, the platform road deviates to the back (I am not planning on a backscene but Amity says there must be a front and a back or she will get confused.  The Cassette Bay is on the RH end for the purposes of this exercise).  The platform doesn't have run around facilities - trains requiring same will have to set back to the trees, head into the yard, perform the run around and then head back to the platform.   Adds to the operational interest.

The yard is fairly basic - goods shed, cattle dock, crane and coal merchant.  The crane will probably be on the cattle line separate to the goods shed.  While the layout is neat and orderly it is a bit cramped and this will mean somewhere else to drop a wagon. 

The captions hopefully will give you a fairly good idea.  Now that I have a track plan in 1:1 scale (relatively speaking!) I will draw it up tomorrow and post.

 Photo 1 - looking over the coal merchant/head shunt towards the trees which will hide the entry/exit.

 Photo 2 - The 57xx and B Set are in the platform road.  The 882xxx is in the arrival/departure road in the yard.  Scalescenes free goods shed making up the feel to the left.

 Photo 3 - taken from the cassette bay end looking towards the buffer stops in the distance.

 Photo 4 - Railways from the Air!  The bottom track is the cattle dock's location.  The length of track next to the 5 plank wagons is roughly the distance between the points on the run around section.

 Photo 5 - another shot of the entry/exit end of the layout.

Photo 6 - the whole lot.  The line marking the entry/exit can just be seen to the right of the trees.

So far (assuming you, the reader, have gotten this far!) the layout doesn't have a name.  Amity suggested Shortreach or Thompson Sidings as having links to where we live (the river is the Thompson - and the town is built on the long reach of said river...).  My current favourite is Coruscant - although it isn't built up enough.  Suggestions would be welcome - living so far from the UK we don't have a good handle on place names.  Just a word of caution - we are looking for something generic.  This layout will have LBSCR Terriers, LNWR Coal Tanks, 57xx's, Class 14's and LNER J70's running on it from time to time (although with only two trains fitting there is no chance (ha ha) of all these happening at once) so a name which screams West Country or Black Country or Wales or Scotland won't help.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

School's out for summer...

I started my 7 week annual summer holiday at COB last Friday.  Since then I have managed to get quite a bit of time at the Workbench (thanks to an understanding wife and 2 well trained daughters.  D3 (who isn't yet 2 years old) isn't quite as well trained and tipped the gluey water mix I use for transfers over me, the floor and the table today, but no serious damage done.  Training has been intensified in this respect!

So what have I done you ask?  Well today was a day of transfers...
The top three rows of wagons (and loads) were done today, in and around entertaining D2 from time to time. 

Starting at the top - NGS Kit 18 - LMS Van Twin Pack.  These have been lettered and numbered using the Modelmaster transfers found in MMT073 (for the fitted - with BR numbers) and MMT571 (for the unfitted in LMS livery).  Second row is 4x NGS Kit 3.  These have been done in LMS livery using numbers and tare weights from MMT571 and letters from MMT576.  The third row of Peco Conflat A kits has been done using MMT570.

The bottom row is part of what I have been doing the last couple of days.  As mentioned in my previous post, I was in the process of doing a Chivers Finelines LNER D5 Horsebox in LNER Painted Teak.  This is now at the stage of needing a couple of small corrections to the paint job and then transfers.  In looking up details, I discovered that my original livery was wrong in a couple of places - firstly I didn't have black ends and secondly, the solebars were painted teak to match the body - something which I hadn't done either.  These have both been fixed.  I glazed the model using Microscale Kristal Klear and then painted the WC windows white from the inside.  Naturally, I learnt about the WC after I fixed the roofs but they were persuaded to part company with the bodies with a minimum of fuss and no damage so all fixed.  Just left to transfer these up.  I am considering raiding the transfers from the NGS Mk 1 Horsebox kit - certainly one of the lines of lettering saying "Return to Leyburn" will probably get a run as Leyburn is the subject of a layout being constructed in South East Queensland.

Additionally I glazed one side of the Ultima SR BG kit which started the trend into brass kits - see along time back in the blog for details of this vehicle! - and I have been working on two Ultima LMS 42' CCT's which hopefully will be finished off by the weekend.  They are at the stage of needing their transfers done.  One of these kits was purchased at the 2mm SA Expo at Huddersfield in 2000 - so a long time getting out of the UFO pile!  Back then it was 15 quid - I still have the box I purchased it in.  The second one was purchased this year - for 15 quid!  Inflation in Model Railways??  Sez who!

Monday, December 6, 2010

LNER D5 Horsebox

Some time back I managed to get via eBay 3 more Chivers LNER D5 Horsebox kits.  The one shown above is being finished in LNER "Teak" Brown paint - the other two are joining the original one I had in BR Crimson.

The brown is Precision Paints P60 - I don't think this would work for actual teak stock (so it won't be used in the NGS D113 BG kit which I would like to do in teak) but seems to be pretty good for the NPCCS stuff which was painted.

In other news I made a start on painting the LNWR Brake 3rd but painting the LNWR livery is proving to be a slow and frustrating process.  I did take a photo but won't be sharing!  I thought I had done a better job than the photo showed - and probably from NVD I did, but the enlargements is what you see here on the blog so I can't hide.  Ignorance is bliss they say and now that I am not as ignorant as I was last night, I will do some remedial work before showing it off.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

LBSCR Stroudley Brake 3rd

A further photo update.  This is the Etched Pixels Stroudley Brake 3rd kit which I made a start on on Friday last.  Still need to get some bits and work out how to glaze and fit the roof.  I also have to work out what to do about an interior.  Amity is supposed to be building the 4 coach rake but decided I should do one to see how it goes before she does the rest.  Might have to get a second solder station so we can solder together as I don't think she will be interested in using the old kit (assuming we can find it - it got sacked when the new one arrived!).

The kit is pretty straightforward and a simple entry kit enabling those LBSCR liveried Terriers to get trains - we got these for Boxhill.  (Stepney will get something else I think - possibly a well wagon with an Austin 7 on it and a brake van full of cricketers...)  There are a few niggles I have - mostly to do with the sticking on of the roof (which I would rather solder) and the effect this has on being able to glaze the coach - but I think it is fair to say they are amongst the earlier Etched Pixels designs and I suspect like most things, learning curves tend to be steepest at the start.

Rather than putting it on a Peco chassis I suspect these will end up on the replacements from the 2mm SA for no other reason than being able to have better wheels and buffers than the Peco offerings.  There will also be the opportunity to do different couplings as well.

LNWR Signal Box - part 2

Here is a picture of progress on the LNWR Signal Box for St Alban's Abbey.  I had a look at the pictures I have of the box and discovered that the effort I had gone to with making sure the "convenience" fitted was in vain as this wasn't fitted until at least the late 1950's and I am intending on modelling the station in LNWR days.  So off it had to go.  The end wall as seen in the first photo further down the blog has been used to fill the hole in the etch - not sure why there was one to be honest as having it as an add on surely would have been easier.

I have also shortened the roof to be a push fit to the building - again the pictures show there was no over hang at each end.

Interior wise the 25 levers of the frame have been fitted as has a table and chair - there are two chairs on the etch so another one to go.  I am presently trying to work out how to fit the stove (which is white metal so will be put on last with some glue prior to painting) and a ledge near the stairs for a couple of fire buckets or similar.

As mentioned in the original post, the kit isn't 100% accurate for St Alban's Abbey - the windows being too deep being the chief fault.  As such, I am not worrying too much about the slightly more ornate ends either and may modify the paint job as shown in the only colour photo I have.  As this has a green DMU passing the box - with a different type of convenience hanging on next to the door than the one in the kit - I am not too worried.

The box is nearly complete.  I am going to fit some bits to help locate the floor so I can have it as a drop in piece - making it easier to paint.  The roof is also going to be separate so the interior can be seen from time to time.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Night Update - 26 November

So back at it tonight.  No real project - just bits and pieces.

The replacement jig from the 2mm SA arrived today but I will leave it until tomorrow to give it a go. 

Tonight's main effort was making the Etched Pixels Stroudley 26ft Brake Third.  Pretty straight forward although the duckets are a little tricky.  I don't have the bits for the roof and I am a little disappointed that I won't be able to sloder the roof on - either that or I will have to come up with a different way of glazing. 

I also did a bit more on the LNWR signal box, MR Meat Wagon and LNWR Horsebox.  Photos tomorrow (hopefully) or Sunday.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Track again

After a bit of fettling of the jig I think I have cracked it.  The four lengths above are the work of an evening - about 2 hours which I am pretty pleased with.  Tinning everything first was a key to getting the neatness.  The length on the right doesn't have chairplates fitted - it was the first length in the "fixed" jig and since it worked, I did the other three with chairplates.

Now to work out how much I need and to get some ply for the frame I have...  School holidays soon so I am hoping for a 2mm Christmas - but will have to organise one more Cl 24 axle so I have a loco.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mavis and Elm Road

As mentioned months ago, Amity and I are planning on building a model of Elm Road on the W&U (pages 27 and 28 in the Wild Swan Book by Hawkins and Reeve). To help with planning we acquired some time back two boxes of "Elm Trees" from the Bachmann Scenic range. With Mavis now passed for duty - and a start made on her train of stone wagons (inspiration for livery from the front of Tramway Engines by Rev. W. Awdry) while she was running on the kids Kato uni-track oval, I got the trees out and set them up. Looks pretty good - and Mavis looks good gliding around with the fully enclosed motion. So inspiration has returned (in fact at one point the 4 converted Farish Fruit Vans were trailing around - 2mm axles do fit Kato track although not the points if you are interested in a quick and dirty test track. Can't vouch for anything over 10' wheel base but!) but the hassles of construction of a baseboard have not changed so not sure what will happen.

Photo update

So this is what I have done this weekend. Weather definitely no good for spray painting (in fact the roads out of town to the north and south are closed to all traffic, the one heading east is open to 4WDs and trucks only and I suspect it is only a matter of time before the one heading west is likewise) so will leave it alone!

As mentioned, I have finished the two 8' LNWR bogies from the 2mmSA and fitted same to the Ultima LNWR 6 Comp Brake 3rd. I have also shorted a Farish LMS Suburban roof to fit - next thing to do is clean the roof up and start fitting vents and what not!

The piece of track under the coach is from the first round of fettling on the rouge jig I got - almost fixed it to my satisfaction and a few more passes with the rule and 180 grit paper (as suggested by Henk) should sort it. As it happens, the guys in the UK are far too organised and a replacement is already heading my way - thanks Owen (Shop 1) and the previously mentioned Alan, Jim and Geoff.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Night Update

Well the planned track building session hit a snag. The jig for putting chairplates on the sleepers works well. The jig for putting rail on the chairplates once they are on the sleepers does not. Readers of the 2mm VAG will know the whole saga. Thanks to Geoff, Alan and Jim the wheels are in motion already to sort. Also thanks to Henk for a suggestion which may be the quickest and easiest solution. Stay tuned.

Rather than wasting the evening, I made a start on the pair of LNWR 8' bogies which turned up with all the track stuff for fitting under the Ultima coach mentioned previously. I have done the bogie for the guard's end - footboards etc. Just the other to go. Will probably knock it over tomorrow and, assuming the weather fines up, paint them on Sunday afternoon - in between doing the first round of reports for the end of the school year. Photos then - hopefully the weather will at least be kind enough for that, if not the painting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


A parcel arrived today containing the bits for the next step - track building. I had thought about Easitrac and indeed have quite a few bits and pieces for making track to this system, however the downside (which may surprise some that there is) to me is the webbing meaning the part of model railways which I like the least - ballasting - still requires a lot of fiddle faddle. With this in mind, solder track for the scenic sections appeals more and as such the jigs to produce straight track to the Versaline system arrived courtesy of the Central Shop today (along with a couple of other bits and pieces).

I still plan on using Easitrac for the non-scenicked parts of layouts (along with any bits of soldered track which work, but don't look too flash!).

First lengths hopefully later this week.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Many, many moons ago, I was given the book pictured above (may have been for my second birthday, may have been for Christmas, but it was many, many moons ago!). I ended up being a bit of an expert on the contents of the original 26 books (I am still spot on with titles and numbers, colour of covers and pretty good with which stories are in which books even now). It was almost inevitable that I would find out that the late Rev. W. Awdry was a train nut - and there is a "real" story behind the ones in the books - not just the real incidences on which the stories are based, but the "real" locomotives which inspired the tales.

Naturally readers of this blog will know this - Toby the tram engine being a great influence on my move to 2mm modelling.

The above photo shows the "fleet" soon after Dapol released "Stepney". While I am not a fan of the Dapol Mk 1s, as "Stepney" was one of them I made an exception - to date all is well but it hasn't been out of the box for almost a year so who knows...

The model of Thomas is a Langley E2/1 kit with the side tank extensions made from pasticard. Naturally they have now released the E2/2 so building the side tanks is no longer a problem. The "real" Thomas is a LBSCR E2/2 so this was easy. The Toby above is the BHE/Thameshead over scale one - until I get a move on and finish the 2mm Eveleigh etch, it will have to do. As for the rest - RTR in every case. Since this line up, Mavis has had a name put on.

Further progress was achieved last year with a Farish Compound being turning into an inside cylinder loco and painted blue. Since this photo the coal has been fixed, footplate painted grey and lined red and a 2 put on the tender. I still have to do the rest of the lining.

The most recent addition has been this repaint of an old Farish Black 5. The Fowler tender top was obtained via eBay and some progress has been made. Still need to do some work on the red, put a number on it and there is the odd touch up to do.

While I appreciate most of this will offend purists - and there are those who do turn their nose up at Thomas and co - the appearance of a 57xx or 14xx at a show will often elicit cries from small children of "look mum/dad - Duck!" (or Oliver depending!). I was most impressed at one show, soon after I purchased my first black Cl 04 shunter to have a small boy say to his mum "that looks like Mavis - but without the side plates". He would have been 5 maybe. So these engines are for the kids - the next generation of modellers. I know 2 who think they are great already.

The next task will be trains. I think I know what my old Farish Mk 1s might be doing soon...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

LNWR 6 Compartment Brake 3rd

I made a start on this kit some time back but only got as far as putting in the drop lights on one side. I got back into it last night while Amity was at a Girls Night In and then put in another couple of hours again today.

This is a kit from Ultima and is of a D345 Arc Roof coach. I got it as a taster - now I am going to get the rest of the train (well, after a few more UFOs bite the dust) - and I am very pleased with how it is going. As the photo shows, there is still some tidying up to do at the step end, and the inside of the far end is a bit too heavy with solder - it won't be seen obviously but I am trying to be neat!!

The kit went together pretty easily. Putting on the drop lights and door vents was fairly time consuming - 8 of each per side. The running board had to be put on against the design of the etch - consultations with the drawings in my copy of David Jenkinson's "LNWR Carriages" showed the design location was too high. I have emailed Alan Cox (aka Mr Ultima/Etched Pixels) about it.

I am presently deciding if I am going to put the door knobs on. I think I will miss it - too tedious, likely to be buried under solder and/or paint. As for the rest - buffers I have so they will probably be added later this evening, the bogies have been ordered from the 2mmFSA and a Farish suburban has donated its roof.

As for painting - hopefully LNWR Plum and Spilt Milk. I think the Plum bit will be easy - spray the whole coach. The Spilt Milk will be the challenge. A mask would be handy - then I would be able to spray again - but the big challenge at present is getting the paint. Precision don't seem to get my e-mails so a phone call maybe necessary - or finding a new supplier since Kernow in Cornwall seem not to be renewing their stocking arrangements.

Of course, while getting the train of 5 or 6 coaches for St Alban's Abbey is easy, the engine isn't... Anyone know where I can get a Webb 2-4-2T or 0-6-2T kit?

Friday, October 22, 2010

LNWR Signal Box

I got the soldering iron out tonight - first time in a while - and made some progress on the Langley LNWR Signal Box kit I purchased back in August from the NGS.

So far so good. I haven't measured it but from looking at the photos of the one at St Alban's Abbey in the Oakwood Press book "The Watford to St Alban's Branch" I can already tell the windows on the kit are larger than the ones on the 'box at St Alban's. I am not too concerned - I will be able to fit the 25 leaver frame and the kit is much better than any attempt I could scratch build at this time.

A bit too much solder around the "convenience" door - will have to clean that up - and not so sure about the top step. Mind you the instructions are presently filed safely (i.e. I can't find them) so I will do a tidy up of my study and see if they turn up tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I recently had sent to me via the good offices of Iain Smith the BHE kit for the LNER J52 (which was a GNR something before this but I don't remember what it was) and, being a bit over transfers, I made a start on it.

First off, I was very surprised at the simplicity of it all. Maybe I have done too many etched kits recently but this one comes in 6 bits. Footplate with buffers cast as one piece, smokebox, boiler, cab, and ancillary bits (chimney et al) as one piece and a pair of forward footsteps and a pair of cab footsteps - that is it.

Like most white metal kits, there was a fair bit of flash and what not along with some moulding lines - all easily removed with a chisel blade in the craft knife handle. The whole lot has been given a wash and a polish and in the photo the two main castings are just sitting un-glued at this time.

To date, the modifications include drilling the chimney so it has a hole, drilling the cab spectacles (I have to work out how to thin them) and removing the cast coal from the bunker - this will end up with real coal in due course.

I have a couple of dilemmas - first up is powering it. The kit is designed for the Farish GP Tank - or 94xx - chassis. I haven't found drawings yet (but I haven't looked either) but I suspect these will show me the kit is "wrong" dimensionally (although I usually figure if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck). Further, as this is really for St Alban's Abbey, not St Alban's Priory, it needs to get a 2mm FS chassis under it. I am sure a solution to power will present itself.

Next problem is livery - the GNR livery appeals (which would mean it trundles around with something as yet un-decided LNWRish) as does the LNER. I have a photo of 68878 in BR black with early crest at St Alban's Abbey on the 30th of April 1955 at one end of a RCTS special - a LNWR Super D is at the other. So the livery decision is also a bit clouded. The solution maybe to prevail on Iain to see if he can get me a second one at some stage...

Friday, October 15, 2010


Inspired by the talk given at the BRMA(Q) AMMC by Greg Palmer, I managed to get to the local supplier of the system Greg recommended as a good one to use to give DCC a go when I was in Brisbane - Austral Modelcraft. Greg suggested the NCE PowerCab as being a good entry level bit of kit and Ray was quite helpful in the chat I had with him at the shop - and another N Scale modeller who was present, who I know by sight although not by name, also said it was a good set up as he had been using it for sometime on his US based layout.

Anyway, brought it home to Longreach and waited for the parcel from Hatton's with the pair of Bachmann EZ decoders I had ordered. My reading had suggested that for British N there wasn't really a lot of difference between brands and Greg suggested getting a couple of cheap chips to start with - on the basis that if I did something to let the magic smoke out it wouldn't be a big outlay. I went with the Bachmann ones as I was putting the chips into a pair of Farish Class 24s and I assumed - rightly - that the Bachmann 6 pin NEM decoders would be designed for use with Farish locos. The documentation confirmed this.

The chips turned up yesterday and I put them in, followed the instructions in the NCE booklet and was away. So far I haven't done to much but being able to run to locos from the one controller is a plus as it gives you the opportunities to try things out. The lights being on on the locos while they were stationary - and being able to run them in opposite directions around the Kato oval setup was pretty good. Changing to the 128 step speed function gave super slow motion creep and on reading a bit more about the chips a realistic top speed can be set for each loco.

So the plan is this - blue diesels chipped and Swallow Street Mk 2 will be a DCC layout. But the only things being chipped will be locos. Changing points will be the old fashioned way. The idea will be to have locos being driven by drivers - and someone else running the signaling. Just like the real thing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

50th Entry

I was surprised to realise that it has been 9 months since I started this blog - and in that time I have made, including this entry, 50 entries. I had a read back at the beginning to see what I had planned and to see what I had achieved.

In one sense - not much. The first entry said that Amity and I were planning a small shunting inglenook style layout in 2mm scale. Since then exactly nothing has happened! The board I drew it out on is too small for the frame I got my father to bring up in June and I haven't done anything about a new board for the frame to transfer the drawing over. So in that sense it isn't good.

However, I read through the rest of the blog and was a little bit surprised as to what I have got done in 2010 so far. The pile of UFOs which are now FOs has grown from the 10 I was challenged to do back in May to be well on the way to 100 now. This has been a definite win as I can clearly see what I have achieved. Other things are less tangible - my soldering skill is now much better than it was when I built my first etched chassis in the middle of last year and I have no fear of any etched kit anymore. My willingness to add to my collection of references has also moved from being the one size fits all to more specific things (my two recent eBay wins were both books on the LNWR - one on coaches - as an example).

All up I think the blog has been a positive thing - it has provided me with a means to stay motivated (keeping it updated means having to actually do something) and this has meant I have achieved much.

For those who have commented both on the blog and off, thanks for the support and encouragement. Putting the map on (I got the idea from Paul Bartlett's site) has been interesting - 30 countries including some I was surprised at.

Here's to the next 50 entries - the next will be looking at something completely different...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Above is part of my weathering kit. (I also have some grey pastel/chaulks and a couple of jars of powders which I used, depending on the job). They are packs B and C of the Tamiya weathering packs - I have looked at A and D but decided there wasn't much call for them. I have also used Humbrol 113 on a dead, dry brush, to put frame dirt on Farish shiny plastic chassis.

This is the subject - my TPM FNA wagon with a sample wagon to copy from which is on page 87 of "British Railway Goods Wagons in Colour 1960-2003 - For the Modeller and Historian" by Robert Hendry. There are other photos on Paul Bartlett's excellent site - see link to the side here and then put FNA into the search box.

The base model has been finished as best as I can in a paint colour close to what it will end up - in my case Humbrol 63 "Sand". There was advice that Desert Sand was a better match but I was unable to obtain it and I made do. Weathering hopefully will get the shade closer to the photo.

Application is very straight forward using the Tamiya kit. I have obtained (via Amity) some extra bits to put the colour on - from the eye wear section of the local chemist. Simply rub the pad into the chosen colour, then apply to the item being weathered. In this case, I used the dirt colour at the right hand end of the B pack. I also used some of the white in the same pack to pick out the corners like in the photo.

Basically my advice is to do it small and slow - build up the colour. The advantage with the Tamiya stuff is it comes off with a baby wipe if you don't like it (wet ones et al - ours is the local supermarket chain brand) without touching the work underneath (which since it has been matt varnished should be the case!). It is important to remember that most wagons spend more time stationary than travelling and as such, the rain runs should reflect this - go from top to bottom, rather than side to side. However, I find when doing planked wagons, it is important to start off side to side as this gets the colour in the grooves and then you can go down (another tip on this is watch out for rain strips on rooves - the weathering is either cleaner, a different shade or darker at the end of the rain strip).

Above all, find a picture of your subject - or something similar if your particular thing wasn't well photographed. Colour is naturally the best but obviously hard to come by for those modelling pre-Grouping or indeed Grouping layouts. No excuses for the Post-Privatisation scene however.

No photos of the finished article I am afraid - didn't get around to it today as I had to change two wheels on the car owing to a pair of flat tyres. No, I only have one spare so there was much to be done in between. Photo tomorrow hopefully.

One I did earlier - I did the 37 and BG last year for Swallow Street using the Tamiya kit and the Humbrol paint on the dry brush

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Photo Update

Photo update - the weather which hasn't been good was OK for photos late this afternoon but is turning overcast again.

First up is the box of things I have been transferring. I know a lot of these are not the most accurate of models but the average punter here in Australia doesn't know that and they work in my shunt trains on St Alban's Priory so Rule 1 and all that.

The top row is a pair of Peco Tube wagons and a pair of Tarp wagons from the same stable. Second row is lead out by a cut down Chivers tube wagon (I ended up with some spare sides owing to a production error with some chassis) on a Peco under frame. This is followed by a cut down Minitrix PoW on a Peco chassis then a Peco 9' open wagon kit. The last is the pair of TPM HEAs I have been building to go with my FNA wagon.

The third row is all Peco - 6 insulated vans, recently transferred using Modelmaster transfers from the NGS (MMT077 for those keeping track of such things. Fourth row is a Peco 15' Insul-Fish (wheel base right, sides and ends OK but stretched!), a Parkwood Insulated van kit on a Peco chassis then 3 Chivers Blue Spot Fish vans - transfers from the Modelmaster range again but this time the MMT088 pack (it includes the blue spots).

The fifth row starts with a pair of MLS Shock Opens - I have to paint the sides white now that I have re-found the transfers as these are from Robbies Rolling Stock and have the colour included. Hopefully the colour on the transfers does match my efforts with the Precision Bauxite. The next wagon is a NGS Mica - it hasn't got all its transfers yet as I am not sure what the lettering on the LH side would be in BR days. Any ideas gratefully received. The last are a pair of Parkwood LNER Fish vans - transfers as before. The bottom row has three Parkwood Palvans - transfers being the MMT084 pack. The last is a Peco cattle van waiting for transfers having been painted.

The collection above is a little bit easier to explain. All have been done using Fox 10inch numbers - FRH2008. Top is 80103 - the crest is the correct Right hand facing crest. 80103 was the first Standard type loco withdrawn and had the wrong "right" crest. Next is 44563 which was explained lower down. Then 48421 and 48536. I am not sure about details such top feed and what not but Farish may produce an updated 8F in the near future and I will worry about it then.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Henry Ford approach to WOMWB

I had an evening of "me" time - Amity was out at her monthly scrap booking club get-together - and so I could take over the dinning room table with my "stuff". As we have a dining room table which seats 10, the amount of "stuff" which one can put on it is considerable!

This evening's work consisted mainly of painting - the appropriate spill avoidance measures were taken, even in the absence of Management as I have no wish to cause trouble - some of the UFO pile and varnishing the items which have recently been transferred to seal in the transfers prior to weathering.

It also consisted of putting my brand new Farish Std 4 2-6-0 which arrived today on the kids oval of Kato to run it in. Very impressed with the loco - not too impressed with the gap twixt loco and tender, even the supposedly short version of the link so will have to work out how to make a shorter one.

Taking the Ford approach makes this fairly time consuming job move along more quickly - although I didn't take it to the ultimate approach and paint everything black (although I could see the appeal as I stirred the umpteenth little tin of paint!). It does require a bit of organisation however to get it working well.

My approach - and this is why a large dining room table helps - is to group things together with other things needing to be painted the same colour. For example, a pair of TPM HEA hoppers which I am painting BR Bauxite were paired with 3 MLS Shock wagons from the NGS, some Peco Tube wagons and a Peco cattle wagon as these were all being painted the same. The tin was added to the collection along with a good No 2 brush (bad brushes are sent to the weathering box to be used for more messy tasks).

Other colours lumped up were Black, BR Wagon Grey, Roof Grey, White, Matt Varnish and Yellow. In the end, I didn't do the white as I hadn't gotten things entirely sorted and the white ended up not being where I started so by the time I got to it, the jar of white spirit (turps to Australians reading - and before you shudder, consider where I am and how far a good hobby shop is and what the rules are for posting said better thinners via Aussie Post...) was a bit too grubby for me to want to put the White Paint Only brush in it.

Everything else was done so I am well pleased with the evenings work - although I haven't photographed it as where it is, is not in the best location for photographing and the flash tends to be too much. I will, however, organise a group portrait tomorrow to show what I have been doing for October. I am also planning on weathering my FNA wagon tomorrow and will definitely take photos of that and post a "show you how I do it" blog entry.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Return of the UFO Box

Got back from Brisbane after a short 12 hour drive (normally closer to 13 hours so happy with the run!) on Wednesday and didn't do anything train wise other than unpack the box on Thursday. Part of the reason for the trip down was for me to do a stock take (which turned up a few locos which I hadn't listed and an increase in the UFO box!).

Friday night therefore had the transfer kit out and a start made on the UFOs. In this case, I fixed the numbers on one of my Std 4 tanks (80103 - missing a 3) and A4 60012 (although I still can't photograph the pair as the other is in Brisbane!) which needed one of the 2s fixing.

Next I made a start on the pile of un-numbered locos. I have had a pair of 8Fs waiting for numbers for a few years now and I went through my database to find some suitable numbers. As a result I picked 48421 and 48536 as I have pictures of both of these locomotives pounding up the last few yards to Ais Gill summit. As this is the intended location of my next large exhibition layout (I am going to have enough space that the refuges will be included at full length of 33 wagons) it made sense to do these.

Next on the list was renumbering one of my two 4Fs (can't see much point in having two 44370s). I had a quick read about them to find that until 44207, they were right hand drive. This narrowed the choice and I had a look to see what digits I had a lot of. First up I thought 44561 as this would be useful to run on Ben Lawson's Sturminister Newton layout (the only pic of a 4F on the S&C was a RH drive version - the Farish model is LH drive). Then I discovered (just in the nick of time) that the proposed number belonged to one of the S&DJR quintet - and they were RH drive too! I moved the number up two to 44563 - one of the 1927 LMS build locos authorised by Stanier.

Next on the list is finishing off my pair of Garratts (one side done, other side needs to be done on both 47975 and 47982), putting the name plate and numbers on D9020 "Nimbus", finding the picture I have somewhere (not logged on the database yet - curses!) of a Q1 hauling a rake of bogie ballast hoppers and a Shark to renumber my Q1 from 33030 to whichever loco it is, and sorting out Class 04 No 11217 to become 11102 for the W&U Tram - although the front windows will be wrong.

After that - there is a whole fleet of GWR locos needing number plates and an Ivatt 2-6-2T needing lining and numbering. Then there are the wagons. So I will be busy for a few weeks with that lot.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


The Annual Model Making Competition for BRMA(Q) members was held today. Amity and I travelled from Longreach to Brisbane for it (and for other stuff but principally for this) as the organisers deliberately held it during the school holidays (on the AFL Grand Final Day - which was a hassle but the Bombers didn't make the Last Saturday in September so it wasn't too big a hardship - and as the game ended in a draw, they are replaying it next week!!!).

I entered models in 3 classes - Modified RTR locos, Kit or Scratchbuilt Rolling Stock and Modified Rolling Stock. I was very pleased to win all three - particularly the Modified RTR Locos with my modified Farish 04 into Wisbech and Upwell tram style as this category I have won each time I have been eligible (if you win you can't enter for the next 2 years, although this rule has recently been change to 1 year). My other entries were two converted Peco wagons which are running on 2mm FSA etch chassis and a pair of Chivers Finelines LMS Plate wagons also on etched chassis.

I wasn't successful with the Grand Champion prize - this went to a very fine modeller, Graeme Clancy who had built a Midland Railway signal box to a very high standard. It would have taken something special to top this and I knew I didn't have it this year - but there is always next year...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matherson Models Chain Links

Having read about the Mathieson Models wagons and having seen on-line their three link coupling system, I ordered a pair of wagons and some three links to give them a go.

The plan I had was to see if it was firstly possible to use to link up Farish wagons without too much hassle. The photos show the couplings fitted on a pair of Farish 3 plank BR wagons. No modifications have been made to the wagons other than having the coupling boxes removed. The Mathieson couplings have had the fixing lugs fettled by bending inwards to fit and then the whole has been glued in place. I don't think there would be a hassle in reversing the process should it be required.

I subsequently tested a rake of 4 of these (so three sets of links) on a reverse curve of Kato 348mm track and both pushing and pulling didn't cause any hassles.

Other experiments have involved closing the gap (presently 3 mm which is a bit big although narrower than the normal Farish one) and this has been with a Farish PoW wagon. The locating holes for the coupling box are used for a guide and 1.2mm holes drilled aft of each of the holes. This brings the hook closer to the buffer beam but I haven't done another to see how it goes.

The third experiment was soldering a coupling onto the re-chassied Chivers LMS Long Lows mentioned months ago - about the time Mathieson first brought out their links. A bit of fettling and they soldered happily enough onto the DG locations and again, have traversed the reverse curves in both directions. As my layout has a 15inch standard minimum, I am well pleased. Just have to work out the position to the loco now and determine the length of spaghetti which can be handled.

Further pics tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My workbench - soldering kit

Recently I was talking to one of my mates in SE Queensland who was telling me about a gathering of British Railway Modelers of Australia members (I am the Central Queensland Unit) and they had a discussion of tool kits. This got me thinking and some posts to both the 2mm VAG and N Gauge Yahoo group about kit prompted this blog.

The photo shows what I use to make the various etched kits which are shown on here. Starting with the DSE solder station and moving clockwise there is a brass brush ($2 for a pack of three brushes - one brass, one steel and one nylon at Crazy Clark's - the Australian readers will know about this mob. I don't know of the International equivalents but below Aldi on the food chain of quality gear!); a old nail file - the type with sand or industrial diamonds impregnated rather than cuts in the metal; a 6 inch steel rule; cheap knife from Crazy Clark's - I break blades too frequently to get expensive ones - this was $2 for a handle and 10 blades (currently I still have all 10 so I mustn't have used this one to open a Humbrol tinlet...); small pointed nose pliers; the must have Swiss Army Pocket Knife - in this case one with pliers and the scissor are used to cut things from etches; the roll of solder - don't know the composition as I have had it for ages and the tag is long gone; some flux paste; and a brass scourer to clean the tip of the iron.

The only bits of this kit I would describe as "flash" is the solder station (and possibly the pocket knife, but I can hear the shudders from the purists from here - wild colonial boy moi???). The rest is pretty run of the mill stuff. The nail file was nicked from my mother over a decade ago, and is starting to wear out - not bad for 10 years of various kits (mostly plastic) and now brass and nickle silver. The other bits are what I can find out here. I have thought about the more expensive kit and I believe the posts which say once you try you won't go back, but I think of the pioneers in 2mm (N or Fine Scale) who "made do" and figure, if they can, so can I. So I do.

No actual modeling has gone on this week - too much (excuse me) work. Next week won't see much happening either as I will be away for (excuse me again) work. However, I will try and be awake enough to do something next Friday - transfers probably as there are a few things which need doing before the AMMC from BRMA (Q) the following Saturday in Brisbane.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Toad 2

So hand rails are on - the small ones worked well, the large ones, well the picture makes it look worse than it is. NVD I am happy with it. I used a jig made using the sides which I didn't use in the kit and some track pins, wrapped wire around and then soldered it, before transferring to the sides. The large didn't quite fit so was fettled. Some may have gone back to square one but I am happy with the result. Chimney ex-Minitrix Warship buffer filed down and drilled out.
Depending on the weather tomorrow, it may get painted. I am planning on entering it in this years BRMA (Q) Annual Model Making Competition.

Friday, September 3, 2010

AA1 Toad

I have been building this over a period of 3 or 4 nights so far - the chassis was pretty easy as was the superstructure of the body. The detail has been fiddly but worth it. The lamp irons (you can see the side one in this picture - it has a matched one on the other side and there are ones on each end) are spares from my J70 kit. The end ones have been twisted to look more like GWR ones than GER ones. Hand brake spare brake wheel from something or other.

Sill have to sort out the hand rails on the sides and the chimney. Then paint (GWR Grey) and transfer and await the arrival of the Materson 3 links I have ordered and connect it up to the P19 rake it will back stop.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


As reported, the mission of Friday night was accomplished. The mission of Saturday was also accomplished, up to a point. The photo shows "Jaws", the first BR Shark kit from the NGS. I suspect it will be joined by "Mako" in due course as I can see a 'need' for a second at some point. Still to go are the plough guards, brake pipes and some detailing which I am going to add to the underframe.

Specific inspiration for this one is from this pic I am not sure if the MMT pack from the NGS contains these markings but I guess that doesn't matter - it is more the inspiration which matters, rather than the specifics.

As far as the rest of Saturday's ambition goes - the LNWR van got as far as the first Humbrol 79 coat, the two TPM HEAs got their first coat of Precision BR Bauxite and the GWR AA1 Toad had its chassis built. Some photos of one of these to determine the windows would be good but I can't seem to find any - currently thinking of doing "sash" type with a glazing bar in the mid point - suspect I will find none ever had this feature if I do however! If you do know, send me a message...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mission accomplished - for tonight anyway!

Last night I announced I would have these wagons ready for the paint works tomorrow - and I am pleased to say (to quote Prof. Higgins) I did it.

Two TPM HEAs which are going to be given Precision Bauxite paint jobs for use as barrier wagons with the FNA kit from the same stable, one NGS Shark (with no couplings as the ploughs get in the way and I haven't worked out how to connect it to the Farish Seacow it is going to go around with) and my second 2mm FSA D88 LNWR van - much neater than the first, even if I do say so myself.

So tomorrow these will be primed ready to go in the morning - and given the forecast for here in Longreach, there is a reasonable chance they will be right to have their first top coats tomorrow afternoon while the Ladies of the Residence are out at a party. Anyway, fingers crossed. I have the transfers for both the LNWR van and Shark and I think I have some HEA transfers on a HAA sheet. Not sure, will have to find out. I will put the MMT Codes from the NGS shop up when the painted and transferred stock appears here.

As for the next plan. Well not sure. There is the LNWR coach which has had some progress, a Maunsell R0 which also has had some progress, the assorted Toads, a LNWR Signalbox plus the UFO box. I think, since I am on this roll of finishing trains, the GWR 6 Wheel Toad to go with the Mill Lane Sidings P19s is going to be next.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


No pictures - merely something to get me inspired for tomorrow and the weekend.

The UFOs are building up again - I got some stuff from the NGS and 2mm FSA as I think I mentioned earlier. This included some TPM HEA kits to flesh out the Nuclear train, another LNWR D88 van, a Shark ballast plough, a pair of LNER Toad Es for the W&U collection and a GWR 6 wheel Toad to run with the P19 wagons. There was also some Shire Scenes bits and pieces for St Alban's Abbey and the Langley LNWR signal box kit.

So the plan is to have the HEAs, Shark and D88 van into the paint shops Saturday which means they all have to be finished off tomorrow night. I have made good progress so this should be achievable.

Saturday afternoon is looking like transfers in front of the footy before more soldering Saturday night, painting Sunday morning and maybe finish the weekend Sunday night with some final transfers.

In any case, having made this claim public I had better do something!!!! The point behind the blog is to keep making progress so...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I have always thought it would have been nice if BR had used the names of the LNER Pacifics on the 100 Class 60 diesels - the 34 A4's and first 66 of the A3's which had previously carried 60xxx numbers (the A3's got to 60112).

With this in mind, and being inspired by the Fictitious Liveries website I kept an eye out for a cheap 60 to come up at either one of the box shifters or eBay. Hatton's duly delivered and when the Mainline liveried 60 was up for grabs for under 40 quid (remembering that out here I get it VAT Free) I snapped it up. A dunk in some stripper and a coat of Humbrol 221 Garter Blue Enamel later and some detailing paint on the cab roof (black like the A4's) and the obligatory yellow on the front end and I was set.

Numbers are from Fox as is the LNER crest under 4491. The other end has 60012 and the Arrows. I had thought about putting the BR Steam crest on but ruled it out owing to the LNER blue colour. Nameplates arrived this week from the NGS - Commonwealth of Australia naturally. Just needs the Australian Coat of Arms and all is complete - the 4491 end is detailed from the pack which comes with the loco so at some point I will stick a little man in to drive it. Not sure what will be its usual duty roster - possibly a VSOE set?

A couple of detail pictures below - when the new camera arrives and the A4 is sorted a bit more, I will take a couple of side by side shots of the two longest nameplates to be fitted to British Railway Locomotives.

Now if the 60's had gotten to 60103...

4491 end showing the LNER Crest under the number and the red backed 23 character nameplate. Parts of the detailing pack can be seen under the buffers.

The other end with the BR Arrows. This is the end with the short shank NEM Rapido in.